Many people have benefited from releasing the equity in their property. Having spent years investing in a property - usually paying off a mortgage - they now decide to take out of it some or all of those invested funds, while still retaining a secure home in which to live.

Such a move may not be the easiest thing to contemplate. Our experience of the business indicates that potential clients have a number of important recurring - and very relevant - questions.

Here, we answer some of those.

If there are any questions that we haven't answered below, then please <contact us

Am I safe and secure in the property?

Yes. You will receive a life-time rent-free lease, as well as a cash sum.

Do I have to sell all of my property?

No. You can sell a proportion now, say 50%, and sell some more if you choose at a later date.

May I move and, if so, what are the restrictions?

Yes. You may move whenever and wherever you wish. All we ask is that the freehold property you move to costs less than the one you move from.

Who is responsible for maintaining the property?

We may require you to insure the fabric of the building or, if you live in a flat, to provide evidence that the whole building is insured. Contents insurance is also your responsibility, although it is not a condition of the equity-release plan that you carry it.

Will I be disturbed in my home at all?

We may require you to insure the fabric of the building or, if you live in a flat, to provide evidence that the whole building is insured. Contents insurance is also your responsibility, although it is not a condition of the equity-release plan that you carry it.

What happens if the investing party goes into liquidation?

Our investors are very substantial companies. However, if this should occur, you are fully protected by your lease, so absolutely nothing can happen to you.

Will I need to use a solicitor?

Yes. It is important that you are reassured by your own legal adviser that you and your partner have life-time security of tenure. Your solicitor will also be able to confirm that you are legally entitled to move if you wish to do so.

How long does the equity-release transaction take to complete?

We would normally expect a conveyance to take 10 weeks. It may be done more quickly if a panel solicitor - who is familiar with the documentation - is used.

How do you determine the property's value?

An independent surveyor will put a market value on the property. We prefer you to nominate the surveyor of your choice, whom we then appoint. Our own in-house surveyor will then send you a copy of the surveyor's report along with a formal offer.

How do I know I will get good value?

The value you get out of your property depends on its market valuation and you and your partner's life expectancy. The actuarial rates used for calculating the cash value to you are the same as those used for calculating life insurance premiums, annuities and pensions. And remember, you'll be occupying your home rent-free for life.

What are the tax considerations?

Currently, the capital sum you receive from our investors is free of capital gains tax. However if you are taking out a plan to supplement your income or as part of a tax mitigation programme, you should consult your own professional adviser.

I would like to release the equity in my home, but I would prefer to have annual instalments rather than one cash lump sum. Is that possible?

Yes. Indeed, our investors may pay larger overall sums if you choose to take payment over a number of annual instalments.

Can you help me invest the capital realised?

No. You should consult your solicitor or tax adviser, as Crown Equity Release only deals with your home.

Are friends and relatives allowed to stay?

Naturally, your home remains very much your home. All we ask is that you let the investing company know if someone is living with you permanently, and they will be asked to sign a disclaimer saying they will leave the property on the death of the surviving partner.

I am 62 and my partner is 60. We've been told we can't benefit from equity release until we're both 70.Does that mean we can't get a plan from you?

No. We are writing equity-release plans for clients from the age of 60.

I have a leasehold property. No other equity release companies will deal with me. Will you?

Yes. We have several investors who will take an interest. Consult us if you have a flat in a converted house (rather than a purpose-built property) or if you have a lease of less than 80 years. We can normally help

There are three occupants at our address who want to be involved in the plan. Can you help?

Almost certainly. Just let us know the third party's age and we will be able to make a proposal to you.

I am in poor health. Am I eligible?

If your doctor or specialist believes that you have a shorter than normal life expectancy, we may be able to offer improved pay out rates. This would also apply if one of you is in poor health. Please refer to us with specific cases.

I own the property jointly with a third party In most instances we would be pleased to help. Call us to find out.

The equity remaining becomes part of the final surviving partner's estate in the usual way.

who is not an occupant. Can I still get some extra capital?

If I don't sell the full value of the property, what happens to any remaining equity when the property is finally empty and the investor has been repaid?